Our Mentally Healthy holiday at Center Parcs

My mum and dad kindly treated us to a family break at Center Parcs in Sherwood Forest a couple of weeks ago. In short, we had the BEST time and found everything about it relieved my hub of his, at times, gripping Bipolar and each activity unlocked a pocket of happiness and joy for us all. Here’s our review of a Mentally Healthy Break… Continue reading “Our Mentally Healthy holiday at Center Parcs”

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Our 5 YO going to sleep at 9pm is saving our relationship

Sleep deprivation is top notch cruelty. And i can honestly say that for the first 2 years of F’s life I was pretty much awake for 90% of it. Then throw into the mix a husband who’s Bipolar trigger is lack of sleep and BOOM, welcome to MoodyShitsVille.

The last 3 years have been better, but she’s still not a keen sleeper – up in the night and then up at 5.30am, but this week her sleep pattern has changed. We don’t know why, but the effect it’s having is magical!

She’s sleeping until we wake her at about 8am!

For those of you with kids, or dastardly loud alarm clocks, you will now that AWFUL feeling of being woken before you’re ready to face to the world. But this week, i’m waking on my own terms, in my own time, getting dressed and having breakfast by myself. It’s like old pre baby days!

Those precious minutes getting my schizzle together is working wonders for our family. I have the all important head start and don’t feel like i’m on the back foot.All our moods have lifted, spirits are high (ish), and we’re all sleeping through the night, it’s wonderful!

I think i may be even looking a little younger.

Nah, that’ll never happen.

Will keep you posted on sleep watch!

M x

 

Hub update: 11 sure signs he’s stablising

Hello Houston, we have lift off! My hub is definitely stabilising and I’m bloody loving it!

*crosses fingers so as not to jinx it*

Ok so we had our 999 Emergency call thing last month, but he bounced back bouncier than a rubber ball on a trampoline, so here are 10 signs I’ve noticed recently which makes me think that perhaps – PERHAPS – we’re on course for a bit of stability. Continue reading “Hub update: 11 sure signs he’s stablising”

Helping a first time mum keep sane

I won’t lie. Babies can totally mess with your head.

Self doubt, lack of sleep, relationship changes, missing the old you….

It’s frickin intense. 

So when i got this message from my heavily pregnant best friend (who is completely bricking it/in denial) I was surprised….

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Hang on. Advice? Me?! Really?

It turns out i’ve probably had this ‘wisdom’ for about 4 and half years according to results from a survey by Nurofen for Children.

Result!

They found that most first time mums felt confident after about 6 months. So what on earth could this advice have been that i shared with my friend?

*Racks tired brain* 

  • Wear a long sleeved nightie with buttons down front for breastfeeding

Night time feeds are COLD, so my motto is to get your boobs out and keep your arms warm. In that Nurofen survey, 69% of new mums said they felt knackered. I know from experience how sleep deprivation can impact parent’s health (but don’t let that scare you), keep snuggly.

  • Never EVER Google

 

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A girl at work once googled this. *face palm*

For reliable and unscary web info, start with established sites like Mumsnet.com and Netmums.com. For health, nhs.uk is great, and brand’s websites/Facebook often have expert and mum chat too.

  • Don’t pretend you know what you’re doing

Good news! You WILL have mother’s instinct! Bad news – you won’t believe it for months. Baby’s health, feeding and sleep patterns will be your biggest grey hair creator (as backed up by that survey), so do ask and accept help. Some stuff will seem weird; I remember squirting breast milk into my daughter’s eye to get rid of conjunctivitis. Randomly, it worked.

Other topics we covered

  • Get a dog walker for the early days – babies do not leave on demand
  • Don’t freeze breast milk – you can, but the whole process is such a faff
  • Freeze food instead – cook now, eat later
  • Buy a nappy bag with zips galore – you’ll keep everything in it
  • You can reheat cups of tea in the microwave – who knew?!
  • Gauge temperature by kissing forehead – amazing trick

I don’t know when my ‘turning’ point was, confidence creeps up on you with each nappy change, but it does happen.But whenever it happens…it does happen. And it’s a really wonderful realisation, so hang on in there.


 

 

 

I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Network Research Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to blog about a specified subject or review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity. I have been entered into a prize draw to win a £100 voucher as a token of thanks for this post. 

Please note that this post is not intended to contain any medical advice. Always contact your own doctor or health professional if you have any concerns about your child’s health.

(i) Survey of 2,000 parents with a baby under 6 years old, commissioned by Nurofen for Children (May 2014)

(ii) Survey of 2,000 mums by One Poll, commissioned by Nurofen for Children (October 2013)

Top 5 ½ tips for a trigger-free family christmas

 

This year Christmas has a bonus layer of added expectations from a 5 year old who is ‘wet-my-pants i’ll-stay-up-ALL-night’ excited about the prospect of a stranger scaling our roof and breaking in.

So in order for me to keep this, err, magic alive for the bipolar depressed and excited among us, i’ve put together my survival pack of ideas to make sure it goes swimmingly. 

1. We’ll ignore the calendar 

So the plan is to plan to be flexible.If my hub knows from the outset the type of things we have planned, but is assured that if he’s overwhelmed or can’t face it, than all will be cool, then all the better.

2. I’m on kitchen strike 

I don’t have time to bake gingerbread houses or squeeze the teats of reindeers to make the most authentic homemade eggnog. Not this year anyway. Ikea do a great ready made gingerbread house and places like Cook or Iceland have some superb food. It’s one day. ONE day. Prawn ring anyone?

3. Buy small, wrap big. 

I love this one. It involves degrees of deception. From the end of October i scour the shops for boxes. FYI: Homebase is a good shout. I collect said boxes and even if i’ve bought one frickin Shopkin, it goes in a jumbo box, wrapped in poundland paper. Same goes for socks, pants and anything else. Et voila, Christmas morning wow factor (shortly followed by ‘is that all i got this year?’ but by then we’re all getting sugar hits from the smarties tube that’s being passed around).

4. Employ the Booze Police 

Things we do for love hey? My husband loves a festive tipple but too many tipples creates a whirlwind of emotions, which i’m not standing for this year. It’s my Christmas too and in this case we know booze can be a trigger. So we’ve had the chat and he will drive if we visit relatives or we’ll make sure we’re drinking plenty of water in between glasses. Boring, but 100% practical.

5. We’ll be separating (for a bit)

Even for the mentally healthy amongst us, Christmas is pretty intense. So this year, we will be carving out some personal time and give each other space. For him it may be sleep, getting to the gym or cleaning (see previous blog) and for me it may be watching a film, playing ‘shops’ with my daughter – again. Or sticking my headphones on for some music relief. We’re better together when we’re sometimes apart.

5.5  Be you, have fun.

It’s obvious right? No. We all put too much pressure on. In the words of that great lyricist, Queen Elsa (If you have children then you’ll know what i’m  saying)….Let it go, let it go, don’t hold it back any more.

If you have some tips to share i would LOVE to hear them. Maybe you have a mental health condition and would like to say what you would like. I’d be very interested to hear.

Thanks for reading and let the festivities commence. x

 

 

First blog. Gulp.

Here we go…….Lift off!
Hi.
I’m new here. This is my release, my venting, my happiness. Sharing my thinking with the abyss of the internet.
What fun!
In these early days i can say pretty much what i god damn want too.
Fanny.
Fart.
Glad that’s off my chest.
So, i’m Maggie. I live with a gorgeous man (who’s very tall) and a little human being who’s 5 (she’s ours by the way). And together we’re learning how to life with his diagnosis of Bipolar.
Now i need to figure out how this blog thing works. Any advice very welcome!